With the conclusion of the final presidential debate, the
2012 election is now a mere two weeks away. Not only the election of our commander-in-chief, but state and local races
are also shaping up to be one of the most anticipated election seasons in U.S.
history. As November 6 gets closer, one important thing that many Americans
should be thinking about as they contemplate their ballot choices is whether
they have taken the necessary steps to ensure that they are able to vote.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures,
33 states have considered new controversial laws involving photo identification
for voting
. Other considerations include issues surrounding absentee ballots
and where college students attending school out of state should cast their
ballot.

Here are some basic tips that should get you election ready:

  • Register for the federal, state and local
    elections
    : If this is your first time voting, then you need to register. You can
    visit rockthevote.com or check in with a county, state or federal office near
    you. States vary to be sure to check on requirements and deadlines as soon as
    possible.
  • College students: as a student attending college
    in another city or state, you have the right to choose where you want to vote
    but things can get confusing when you are trying to vote in your hometown’s
    local election or in your college county.
  • Overcome language barriers: When you vote, you
    should understand the issues that are presented to you. The United States
    Election Assistance Commission offers a voter’s guide to federal elections in
    10 different languages.
  • Voting early and absentee: In many situations,
    you do not have to wait until Election Day or be in your home state to cast
    your ballot.
  • Other issues: States vary on if and when
    individuals with a felony conviction can vote. The easiest way to find out is
    to inquire. Additionally, many Americans are under the mistaken belief that he
    or she does not have the right to vote because they receive some type of public
    assistance. That simply is not true and if you meet eligibility requirements
    then let your voice be heard on Nov. 6!

Did you know that 33 of 100 U.S. Senate seats and 435 U.S
Congressional seats and governships in 13 state and territories are up for
grabs this election? With those numbers and the presidential election, it is
easy to see what knowing your voting rights and changes to requirements are
essential
.

If you are curious about voting rights and the legal issues
surrounding photo identification requirements and other election matters, make
sure you visit FindLaw.com to learn more.

– Michelle Croteau, Director of Marketing Communications
with Laura Strachan, FindLaw Audience Team

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